This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9 -- Feast of Blessed Marianus Scotus

St. Peter's - Regensburg 
Never fails -- find one obscure medieval dude with a funny name and there's sure to be another one right behind him.  First the beatus; then the other one.

He was actually named Muiredach trog macc Robartaig, but if you feed Muiredach into the Latinizer 900, you get Marianus.  Rather than noting he was the son of Robart, they chose to append Scotus to his name,  branding him the Irishman.    As if no one could tell from his lilting tenor brogue, his fondness for maudlin songs, and his supple elbow.  In 1067, he left Ireland for a pilgrimage to Rome, but didn't make it farther than Germany.  [As I consider the geography, I wonder if he didn't take a wrong turn at Angers.]

He paused in Michaelsburg to help copy some scriptures.  Then he stayed a little longer to make some vellum.  The work was agreeable, so he hung out, making paper (well, more or less) and turning it into scripture.  In 1087, he founded his own monastery, Kloster Sankt Peter Regensberg, which eventually grew to twelve houses full of ex-pats from the British isles.

One of the nice things about monasteries is that they sometimes employed local help.  I'm not talking about exploiting the peasants, but rather hiring folks to do some of the extra work.  Of course, that's supposed to be what novices (kind of like pledges) are for, but if your specialty is copying text, you don't want to waste your in-house talent on refilling oil lamps.

The woman who was in charge of this task was late to work one day.  She brought a couple friends along because she knew it was already getting dark and they'd have some catching up to do.  Quietly they entered Marianus' scriptorium, where they found him busily copying in his elegant, inimitable style.  His right hand held the pen, which was moving swiftly and precisely across the vellum, pausing only to dip in the ink.  His left, held aloft, illuminated the writing table.  There was no lamp in it, of course, just his own inner light shining through.  The lamplighters slowly backed out of the room, fearful of disrupting some miraculous work.

The Chronicon
If that sounds a little bit much for you, treat yourself to a visit to the Imperial Library of Vienna and ask for Codex 1247.  In it, you will see Muiredach's handiwork, signed by himself in both Latin and Celtic.

As for the other Marianus Scotus, he was originally named Máel Brigte.  He too migrated to the Continent, where he became a monk and Latinized his name.  In fact, he did this somewhat before the beatus, arriving in 1052 and going to his reward in 1083.  During the intervening years, he wrote the Chronicon, a universal history covering the years from Creation to 1082.  Although his book was considered very authoritative for several centuries, it wasn't good enough to get him into the canon.  At least not until now.

From this point forward, let February 9 be the feast of the Mariani Scoti. 

No comments:

Post a Comment